Some of the best learning is done when we don’t think we’re learning. Kids think that all education must cease for the summer—June through August is for fun and frolicking. Experienced parents know the truth.

When a human is in their teenage years, every day is a time for learning something. A camping trip is crammed with learning moments—how to safely build and extinguish a fire; how to clean a freshly-caught trout; the best way to fold that large tent to fit into that itty bitty bag it came in.

Closer to home kids may learn how long it does take to weed out the garden or how to compost the cuttings from their lawn mow job. An ambitious parent may teach their young how to make jam from the valley’s bounty of summer berries.

Close to home next week there will be a fun event that is a wonderful learning tool: the civil war reenactment at Heritage Powerland Park in Brooks (formerly Antique Powerland). Adults, kids, teenagers, history buffs and war buffs will find something to engage them. 

The grounds of Heritage Powerland Park are filled with both Union and Confederate encampments. The reenactors live as if it was the 1860s, no modern conveniences, using only what was used 150 years ago. Food is cooked over a campfire. That same fire heats water for bathing. The reenactors wear what was worn in that period.

Members of the Northwest Civil War Council are serious about their hobby. They invite questions about the lifestyle on Civil War-era battlefields. Everyone involved is knowledgeable and can answer any question about that period.

The highlights of the four-day event are the two-a-day battles reenactments. Spies creep, looking for the enemy. Soldiers march in formation. Troops place cannons in preparation for engagement with the opposite side.

The thrill of the booming cannons is unforgettable; the smoke from the big guns wafting over the battlefields. The generals and majors on their horses commanding the battle atop their steeds. It may not be the Avengers or the Stormtroopers, but it is just as exciting. 

Every battle scene, every encampment populated with soldiers and those in support of the armies is a master class in how the Civil War was fought and what it was like to live in the 1860s. Kids (and adults) won’t even think about learning when they attend the civil war reenactment, they will be so thrilled with the sights and sounds, they will only realize they learned something when they tell their friends what they experienced.

       —LAZ